I’m a Writer, Not a Brick Layer!

Lately, I’ve empathized with poor Dr. McCoy.

No, it’s not just because I’m a Trekkie and he happens to be among my favorite characters. It’s actually deeper than that.

I mean, really, why was it so hard for everyone to get it through their thick skulls that he wasn’t endowed with any other skill set other than being a doctor? That was his profession. That’s why he joined Star Fleet. He didn’t sign on for all that other crap!

Well the same goes for me!

I’m a writer.

I didn’t start pursuing my dream of writing fiction to become a super editor or marketing guru! Hours of my life were never poured into books and study so that I could become a media mogul and professional platform builder.

Just a writer.

Why is this concept so difficult to understand?

Yet, as I bang my head against the desk and go over the requirements to be met in a book proposal before a publishing house (let alone an agent) gives me the time of day, I can’t help but wonder…

I mean, does the publishing world expect first time authors to be super human?

“Ah yes, we’d like you to list the top 50 books comparable to your novel and tell us why your book would sell better than those. Then detail all the media gigs you’ve lined up to promote your book, along with your exhaustive list of writing credentials you should have, even though you’re a nobody in the writing world. And while you’re at it, go ahead and sign over the rights to your first born.”

Have I missed anything?

I’m beginning to think being a brick layer might be the easier road.

Or maybe a doctor. I mean, sure, they’ve got years upon years of education and college they must endure, plus training. But at least in the end of it all, they’ll get to be doctors. They don’t go to med school and halfway through, hear their instructor say, “Now I want you to get a degree in rocket science.”

Grant it, McCoy may have had that….you know, since he was both a doctor and Star Fleet.

But I digress…

Seriously, though, writing a novel is no cake walk, despite what some may think.

“I Find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.”

Flannery O’Connor

Nowadays (doesn’t that make me sound old), much more seems to be expected of writers. It’s not enough that you overcome the hurdle of writing a novel and putting yourself out there. Now you must prove your novel can sell and that you have what it takes to promote it. That’s a daunting task to me.

While I know that the bulk of this post seems nothing more than a whiny rant, I hope you know by now that there’s a little more to it than what you perceive etched on the surface.

Character is everything when it comes to connecting with others. When we sit down to read a good book, or watch a movie, we desperately seek to relate to the characters somehow. We want to know that there’s more to them than what you initially see. It’s the same with people in real life. Though, in this realm we don’t have the luxury of a narrator or personal POV to give us the insight into another’s character.

It’s no accident that I picked Bones for my illustration. Anyone familiar with the character knows that he usually came off rough and biting – always complaining about something. The endless slew of “I’m a doctor not a……….(fill in the blank)” was hilarious after awhile. More so because you knew what was coming.

While Bones was good at complaining at the drop of a hat. He was also good at something else.

Being dependable.

It didn’t matter if he felt qualified for the task or not. He’d say his peace and do the job anyway because that was where he was needed. That was what was required of him.

And THAT, friends, was his endearing legacy as a character.

So what’s all that got to do with my rant?

Well, I was kind of hoping you might have guessed by now.

While it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed and stressed about the road to publication, I plan to press on anyway. Sure, I find I need the occasional moment to moan and groan, stress and vent. But in the end, I hope that I can emulate that Bones mentality and do what is expected of me, even if I don’t feel qualified for the task.

No one said the road would be easy. But walking it with perseverance and character, despite the obstacles, really does make all the difference.

 

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4 Thoughts

    1. Thanks Scott! I’m in awe of how great a response I’m getting on this one. There’s been several people on Twitter who’ve favored this post since it was published. New ones pop up every day!

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    1. Thanks for the understanding, Dana. It’s tough for any writer, I’m sure, to devote the time and effort to these other “professions”. I guess it seems doubly daunting to me because I am so introverted. Social anxiety is a big part of my personal struggles, and there’s nothing like the realization that I’ll have to promote and market my books to bring that fear out all the more.

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